Who’s got time for a midlife crisis?

Source: Wikimedia Commons

I’ve entered my midlife crisis while raising a 3-year-old. Which means I’m questioning what I want my legacy to be, but I’m too busy to give it as much thought as I’d like. Meanwhile, I don’t have the disposable income to buy a sports car and feel the wind in my thinning hair in lieu of self-introspecting.

I find myself looking for wisdom in the books I read to my daughter, as though the Berenstain Bears and Peppa Pig collections came from the self-help shelf. Much of this genre is in fact self-help: teaching children how to regulate their emotions, the importance of sharing, and how to calmly consider solutions to their challenges. (I have yet to see hiding in a closet to angry cry and scarf down a chocolate bar suggested in any of these books.)

I keep searching for answers, but a child’s issues just don’t seem to translate to my own. C’mon, Peppa – give me some career pointers. Mama and Papa Bear, always at the ready to dispense sage advice to your hirsute children – throw a little guidance my way.

According to Peppa, the greatest joy in life is jumping in muddy puddles. For me it’s eating a toasted everything bagel with a cup of coffee. The cause of and solution to all of Curious George’s problems is his insatiable curiosity. I’m only curious to the extent that it’s practical; it takes an awful lot of time and energy to be curious. I think the only relevant concept may be Harold with his purple crayon, because he draws his own destiny. (Can I borrow that crayon?)

Three quarters of children’s books are about going to sleep, designed to help a child wind down. I certainly don’t need any help falling asleep. Sleeping is already my superpower. The challenge isn’t falling asleep, it’s getting enough of it.

Guess I’ll just have to wait and see what tonight’s bedtime reading may offer in terms of enlightenment.

Salted Bird’s Tail

A new way of birding

Source: Wikimedia Commons

At my annual pediatric check-up when I was seven, my mother told Dr. Roberts about my fascination with birds. She chortled as she described my repeated attempts to catch one by hand in the yard.

Dr. Roberts winked at me and said, “If you sprinkle salt on the bird’s tail, you’ll be able to catch it.”

I marveled at his wisdom. He was a doctor, after all. I began carrying a salt shaker around the yard with me, wholeheartedly believing that the crystalline granules held the power to temporarily prohibit a bird from flying.

I just wanted to hold one in the palm of my hand for a bit. Observe the bird up close, feel its weight, pet its feathers. Then I would let it go.

I’m still carrying that salt shaker around, but to this day haven’t been successful. If I can’t get close enough to catch the bird in the first place, how can I salt its tail?